Did you ever think your health and well-being are important factors in the health and well-being of the planet? It's true. The choices each of us makes each and every day are important for our family's welfare as well as the welfare of our neighborhood, our community, our city, our country, and our global society.
We don't often consider that a healthy personal lifestyle - relating to fitness and nutrition - has an impact on the environment and the global biosphere. But our personal choices and actions do matter. Our life-affirming choices to get fit, be fit, and eat right affect everyone and everything around us. How you get to work is a perfect example.
Of course, most of us drive to work, as it's a lifetime habit, and we don't even think about it. But, driving always produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - every gallon of gas burned pumps 17 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Biking to work and walking to work are fitness-promoting activities that have
a double benefit.1,2 You're exercising on your workdays and you're actively
helping to reduce GHG emissions and stabilize the Earth's climate.
If it's too far to walk or bike to your place of employment, arrange to car pool with co-workers and walk or bike to their house on the days when you're not the designated driver.
Planting a garden or participating in the activities of a community garden is a health-promoting action step that has a triple benefit.
First, you're producing or helping to produce foods that are grown locally. Foods consumed
in the United States travel an average of 1500 miles to reach your local supermarket. Foods grown locally eliminate almost all of the fossil fuel resources required to transport non-local items.
Second, you're adding really fresh vegetables to your family's diet, providing vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals required for abundant good health.
Third, gardening is exercise - the kind of exercise people used to get when they didn't sit in chairs at desks all day long.
The benefits of health-promoting activities keep on coming.3 For the most part, healthy people don't wind up in the local hospital emergency room. Resource saved include fossil fuels burned by high-speed ambulances, fossil fuels burned to produce electricity used to power life-saving medical devices, and energy utilized to produce the vast amounts of medical supplies consumed in an emergency procedure, including syringes, IV set-ups, and towels, wipes, and disinfectants.
Being a healthy individual as a member of a healthy family has a huge multiplying effect. Your chiropractor knows that all body systems are deeply interconnected and must work together to produce good health. So too are the many different living systems that make up Planet Earth. Your chiropractor can provide you with detailed information about good nutrition and good exercise that can help make a real difference in your health and the health of your community.
1Villegas R, et al: The cumulative effect of core lifestyle behaviours on the prevalence of hypertension and dyslipidemia. BMC Public Health 13(8):210, 2008
2Christie BR, et al: Exercising our brains: how physical activity impacts synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Neuromolecular Med 10(2):47-58, 2008
3Booher MA, Smith BW: Physiological effects of exercise on the cardiopulmonary system. Clin Sports Med 22(1):1-21, 2003